Four in five CSPs will trial 5G network slicing by end of 2020
To understand whether network slicing is a major concern for communication service providers (CSPs), and to find out if their current approaches to 5G network slice management and monetisation, Amdocs, has disclosed the findings of a new survey of 50 CSPs worldwide. The survey found that 54% are already trialling a 5G network slicing solution, while 30% plan to trial one by the end of this year.
For CSPs, network slicing introduces the ability to build scalable and dedicated logical/virtual networks, allowing them to support diverse services with specific performance or control requirements on a common network platform to address a large variety of use cases, services, industries and customers.
CSPs currently focused on simplifying network infrastructure
Reducing the level of complexity and improving efficiency in 5G and network slicing is a main driver for CSPs adopting a 5G network slicing management and automation solution, with the research finding that CSPs expect the top three benefits network slicing will bring to their business to be:
- Simplification and automation of the network (66%)
- Enables an enhanced and targeted customer experience (52%)
- Cuts time-to-market and time-to-customer for network services (50%)
Network slicing to support connected homes and smart cities with 5G
Three quarters (74%) of respondents stated that the service-based use cases will see the biggest impact of 5G network slicing, e.g. IoT, connected cars and smart homes, as CSPs prepare to offer bespoke 5G connectivity for specific use cases, in order to ensure their customers benefit from higher speeds and capacity, and lower-latency. Using 5G network slicing for vertical industry-based use cases, e.g. health, agriculture and manufacturing, came second at 18%.
Other key findings from the research, conducted in collaboration with Coleman Parkes, included:
- 76% believed that to cut time-to-market and reduce fail risk/cost, it is vital to automate the end-to-end network slice lifecycle from design to fulfilment and operations
- 70% believed their current operational systems cannot handle the adaptive, real-time resource allocation needed for 5G network slicing management
- 52% believed Network Slice as-a-Service (NSaaS) will be the leading approach to network slice monetisation, while 30% expect to charge for specific Quality-of-Service parameters (e.g. throughput, latency)
- Over one in ten (12%) CSPs intend to support hundreds of network slices, while 44% plan to support tens of slices.
Oren Marmur, head of NFV at Amdocs, said that, “With virtual infrastructure and programable 5G networks, the granularity and speed with which CSPs can introduce and deliver services will substantially impact their ability to monetise the network. A 5G slicing management entity for holistic, automated end-to-end network slice lifecycle management must therefore be an integral part of the CSP’s 5G monetisation platform, enabling them to best position the organisation to revolutionise its service offerings.”
He continues, “This in turn, based on a wide range of new 5G use cases, will enable them to unleash a whole new world of network services and monetisation possibilities that can support complex consumer and enterprise business models.”